Also rented on ITunes (also available on YouTube Red – their paid service) the film The Thinning. If you watch enough YouTube, you know this as the film that tells you how many sides a pentagon has before you hit “skip commercial” after five seconds. I was surprised this was on iTunes and even more surprised to realize it was the “pentagon” movie since, yeah, I watched that trailer once and skipped it dozens of times otherwise.
The premise is that Earth’s resources are dwindling as our populations skyrockets so the UN imposes a rule on all countries: thin your population by 5% every year. Some countries do this via a One Child policy, others off their elderly, and America does it via standardized testing. If you don’t pass the test annually from 1st to 12th grade, you are taken out of the equation. Only the smartest are allowed to live.
The film follows a few students through two such “thinning” tests over a couple years and how, when the governor’s son deliberately fails the test and still passes, the smartest girl in the school is selected to take his place. The movie is kind of interesting when its world-building and playing with these themes… but when it gets into the meat of the plot, it turns into a disappointing Die Hard in a School.
It’s not a disaster… it’s an ok watch at that point. It does manage to ultimately keep the ethics of its premise in a certain focus. But the film-making isn’t really good enough to keep the tension raised as students crawl through the typical impressively roomy air-ducts and fight with masked soldiers.
Overall, a decent little movie with some big, daring ideas for what is effectively a teen suspense/action film. The concept is dark and they don’t shy away from making sure we know that state-sanctioned death is around the corner. Not bad.